Griffith East Preschool Inc’s philosophy emphasises the importance of promoting,
supporting and implementing child-initiated, play-orientated and educator-guided early childhood curriculum/programs. In addition, we believe this approach should be negotiated between and also relevant to children, educators, families and the community.
We view children as powerful, capable and active learners and explorers who acquire knowledge and skills in their early years, which form the foundation for their future learning. Additionally, children’s learning is enhanced through a collaborative and communicative process and should be recognised as being both individually and socially constructed. Therefore, children’s social and cultural contexts and the interactions, language experiences within them influence their learning. Children also learn when they are interested, motivated and actively involved in the direction of their own learning. Therefore, we believe children learn potentially through play-based experiences that provide opportunities to refine and extend upon their interests, concepts, ideas and existing knowledge and skills. Furthermore, children are unique individuals that learn and progress across all areas of development in individual and diverse ways and paces.
Consequently, when a child’s uniqueness and individuality is accepted and respected they develop a positive self-esteem and self-image and feel respected and valued in a secure environment. This is when children learn most effectively as how they perceive themselves can affect their confidence, motivation and their overall ability to learn and grow into contributing members of society.
The promotion of children’s learning and well-being, in early childhood services is directly linked to the successful design and development of appropriate early childhood curriculum/programs. Early Childhood Educators at Griffith East Preschool believe that we have an important responsibility to provide individualised programs, plans and experiences that respond to children’s unique needs and levels of development. Ideally, appropriate curriculum for children should be child-initiated, play-oriented and educator-guided with educators committed to:
Consequently, to provide successful child-initiated and developmentally appropriate plans and programs, educators need to gain accurate understanding of children and their unique needs. In respect to this, educators should work together with others involved in children’s learning to negotiate the direction of the program. Plans should therefore acknowledge, explore and extend children’s interests, ideas and abilities, consider the expectations and values of families and the community and reflect the values, experiences and beliefs of educators. Educators need also to acknowledge and value our own Indigenous heritage and that of the wider community – locally, nationally and internationally and incorporate these values and knowledge into our programs. Consequently, this requires educators establishing positive, respectful relationships with children and families, based on communication and
Our vision is to teach children the true histories of Australia, promoting respect, trust, acceptance and understanding between all Australians and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. Being able to acknowledge and learn from Australia’s past enables us to move forward in an open, respectful and empathetic manner. This, in turn, creates opportunities to build and maintain meaningful relationships between our service and members of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in our local and surrounding areas.
We strive to contribute to a happy, healthy, united Australia where the rights and cultures of our nation’s First Peoples are understood and respected. Through the education of our children, filtering through to families and the broader community, we seek to create positive, reciprocal relationships between Aboriginal and Torres strait Islander Peoples and all other Australians.
The Griffith East Preschool community is committed to this Reconciliation Action Plan, understanding that this is one part of a longer journey towards reconciliation. As educators, we will continue to respectfully embed the cultures of Aboriginal and Torres strait Islander Peoples into our environment, routines and educational programs.
We are dedicated to maintaining a culturally safe service for all stakeholders, providing a welcoming and respectful environment. In working towards this vision, we are committed to continued professional development through both formal and informal avenues, and in collaboration with local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, children, families, organisations and departments.
Our Reconciliation Action Plan is a living document which will continue to grow as we grow, change as we change, and improve as we improve. We strive to achieve these outcomes, and advocate the importance of reconciliation, for the mutual benefit of all Australians, whether Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, new arrivals, or those born in Australia with diverse heritages.
Griffith East Preschool Inc. acknowledges that our early childhood service is situated on Wiradjuri Land, and Wiradjuri Country. We believe that recognition and appreciation of Australia’s First Peoples is an important part of early childhood education in enabling generational change in the reconciliation process.
We pay respect to Wiradjuri Elders – past, present, and in generations to come – and commit to respecting and caring for the Land on which our Preschool stands. We also commit to teaching respect for the environment, and the people who walk with us on this Land.
We believe careful observation, reflection and documentation of children’s play and involvement in the program, assists in the evaluation and further planning of children’s progressive learning and development. Furthermore, we believe the quality and effectiveness of programs and teaching strategies and practices are reflective of the professional growth and development of educators and the celebration of the unique qualities, and experience of each educator. Therefore, educators should engage in lifelong learning, continuous critical self-reflection of their practices and professionalism and commit to growing and evolving both personally and professionally through self- directed learning. To achieve this, Griffith East Preschool Inc is committed to supporting educators
to achieve professional development through ongoing learning in current Early Childhood theories and practices and respecting and supporting the unique qualities and teaching and learning strategies of each individual educator.